Natural Skincare for Eczema and Why it’s Better than Topical Steroid Creams

Natural Skincare for Eczema and Why it’s Better than Topical Steroid Creams

The common question that is asked is what is the difference between natural skincare for eczema and the traditional cortisone treatment?

Topical steroid creams are the most commonly prescribed treatment for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. However, it is definitely not the best eczema treatment available to us. In fact, it may be causing more harm than good.

In this article, we will talk about topical steroid creams and their side effects so that we can understand what we are putting onto our skin. We will also take a closer look at some of the ingredients found in our natural skincare products and explain their benefits for eczema.

What is Hydrocortisone Cream Used for?

Hydrocortisone is a type of topical steroid cream and is easily the most widely used topical treatment for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. However, hydrocortisone is not the only type of steroid cream available.

There are many different types of steroid creams on the market, all varying in potency and ranging from mild to very potent.

The potency of the cream prescribed by your doctor will depend on the severity of your skin condition. The more potent the cream, the more effective it will be in reducing inflammation and, unfortunately, the more extreme the side-effects will be with prolonged use.

It’s important to note that the side-effects experienced are the same across the board with all topical steroid creams, it is just the severity of the symptoms that will vary.

Additionally, although they are called steroids, these creams are nothing like the illicit steroids used for body building and other sporting activities.

Also known as corticosteroids, this treatment can come in the form of creams, ointments, and lotions.

Corticosteroids are extremely effective in treating eczema flare ups as it helps to dramatically reduce the inflammation associated with the skin condition. However, steroid creams are only effective for symptomatic relief and by no means offers a long-term cure or solution to this chronic skin condition.

Instead – if you really feel that this is the route you want to take – cortisone creams should be used for only a few consecutive days to bring the flare up under control and a safer, more natural alternative should be used as maintenance.

Hydrocortisone Side Effects

Long-term use of steroid creams, regardless of their potency, can cause the following side effects:

  • Thinning of the skin which makes the affected areas of the skin more vulnerable to damage
  • Changes in skin colour in that it can cause hyperpigmentation, especially when the areas of the skin which are being treated with the steroid cream are exposed to the sun
  • Exacerbating or spreading of an existing skin infection
  • Excessive hair growth in areas of treated skin
  • Contact dermatitis due to an allergic response to ingredients in the cream (mostly to preservatives)
  • Acne or exacerbating existing acne
  • Folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles)
  • Stretch marks due to the thinning of the skin

When potent or very potent steroids are used over a large area of skin or for prolonged periods of time, there is risk of the active ingredients being absorbed into the blood stream (known as systemic absorption) and this can cause systemic side effects.

Cortisone creams are known to mask symptoms of infected skin which means that you may not be aware that you have an underlying infection. As a result, the infection can spread to other parts of the body before you have a chance to treat it.

Natural Skincare for Eczema – How to Treat Eczema Naturally

Although steroid creams can be used to treat flare ups of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, treatment should never exceed 10-14 consecutive days.

Instead, a natural alternative should be used as maintenance. Mojo Magic products contain several natural ingredients which are safe for long-term use.

Below are just some of the ingredients in our products which are particularly beneficial for eczema.

Jojoba Oil

The jojoba plant grows in harsh, desert climates and produces a wholesome nut which offers many healing properties.

Jojoba oil is extracted from the nut and can be used on its own or as a carrier oil for other essential oils.

Benefits of jojoba oil for the skin:

  • Antibacterial – this is particularly useful in inflammatory skin conditions which tend to be weepy and prone to infection
  • Moisturizing – eczema is often characterized by dry, flaky skin. Jojoba oil works to seal the skin with a protective layer which prevents moisture loss
  • Antioxidant – it contains natural forms of vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant and can help keep the skin safe from environmental stressors such as pollutants and other harmful toxins
  • Hypoallergenic – unlike many other botanical oils, jojoba oil is typically non-irritating which is crucial for skin which is prone to allergic reactions
  • Speeds up wound healing – preliminary research has shown that jojoba oil has the potential to speed up wound healing by encouraging the skin cells to bind together

Beeswax is literally the wax that comes from bees. It is what the worker bees make and use to store the colony’s honey.

This incredible substance is known to have antibacterial properties and has been used for centuries to treat general skin ailments, wounds, burns, and chronic skin conditions.

Beeswax can offer the following benefits for the skin:

  • Protection against environmental factors – important for people who have sensitive skin which is prone to allergic reactions from external stressors or pollutants
  • Hydration – as mentioned before, hydration plays a key role in the treatment of eczema which commonly presents as dry and flaky
  • Provides relief for itching skin – thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax provides significant relief for itching skin
  • Heals and restores – with exceptional healing properties, beeswax can help heal skin that has been damaged and compromised by the symptoms of eczema

Methylsulfonylmethane which is commonly known as MSM, is a naturally occurring compound which is found in plants and is widely used for inflammatory conditions and to boost the immune system.

MSM offers the following benefits for people with eczema:

  • Anti-inflammatory – as we know, eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, characterized by redness, itchiness, dryness, and flakiness. MSM can reduce the body’s inflammatory response which is often exaggerated in people with eczema
  • Strengthens keratin – keratin is the protein that acts as the main structural component of your skin, nails, and hair. MSM can stimulate keratin production, thereby improving the integrity of the skin

At Mojo Magic, we make sure to source and use only the highest quality, plant derived, organic MSM.

Mojo Magic – Natural Skincare for Eczema

At Mojo Magic we believe that nature provides us with everything we need to treat ailments. Therefore, we made it our mission to come up with a combination of ingredients that not only treat eczema and other skin conditions, but helps the skin heal too.

We also endeavour to source and use only the highest quality ingredients and essential oils in our products, making them effective natural skincare for eczema.

In our next article, we will be looking at the 5 magic oils that can be found in our products and discussing their benefits.

What is Eczema and Can You Treat it with Natural Skincare Products?

What is Eczema and Can You Treat it with Natural Skincare Products?

What is Eczema?

Although many people believe it is a stand-alone condition, eczema is actually a term that is used to describe a group of inflammatory skin conditions that produce rash-like symptoms on the surface of the skin. There are conventional methods to treat eczema, as well as alternative methods which make use of natural skincare products and lifestyle changes.

There are many different causes of eczema and to treat it successfully, we need to understand these causes as well as what can exacerbate symptoms.

Atopic Dermatitis vs. Eczema

The correct term for chronic eczema is atopic dermatitis. Atopic means there is a genetic disposition toward allergic reactions and hypersensitivity while dermatitis means inflammation of the skin.

Atopic dermatitis is characterized by inflamed skin which may be flaky, itchy, often cracks open, and weeps when scratched.

It is quite common for atopic dermatitis to go through stages of remission where the condition is under control. However, flare ups are equally common and can be severe and relatively debilitating.

People with atopic dermatitis often find it difficult to avoid scratching, especially during flare ups because of the extreme itchiness that comes with it.

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is a result of the skin barrier being compromised, making it more sensitive and vulnerable to irritants and allergens (any substance that causes an allergic reaction). In addition, a compromised skin barrier is unable to effectively retain moisture, which contributes to the dryness and flakiness of the skin in people with eczema.

Although eczema is not considered an autoimmune disorder, symptoms of this condition are often considered a result of an immune system dysfunction or overreaction.  In other words, people with eczema will experience a hyper-response to allergens, which results in red, inflamed, itchy patches on the skin.

Furthermore, certain environmental factors can contribute to the triggering or exacerbation of eczema.

Lastly, emotional triggers such as stress and anxiety can also play a huge role in atopic dermatitis.

Below is a list of potential allergens, triggers and other contributors to eczema:

  • Fragranced body lotion and/or soap
  • Body lotions and soaps with synthetic colouring
  • Perfume
  • Fabric softeners and detergents
  • Bubble bath liquids
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Air pollution
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Allergenic foods such as dairy, nuts, soy, and eggs
  • Skincare products that contain sulfates and other harmful chemicals
  • Cleaning detergents and chemicals
  • Dry or hot climates
  • Environments with high or low humidity (individual dependent)
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Excess consumption of sugar

Other Common Types of Eczema

As mentioned before, the term eczema refers to several inflammatory skin conditions which exist separately to atopic dermatitis (chronic eczema).

Contact Eczema or Contact Dermatitis

This is an allergic or inflammatory response to an external irritant that the skin has come into contact with.

Common causes of contact eczema are:

  • Jewellery
  • Fabric softeners
  • Cleaning detergents or chemicals
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Body lotions, perfumes, or soaps

Symptoms of contact eczema include:

  • Itchy bumps may appear on your skin
  • Fluid-filled blisters may form, ooze and form crusts
  • Over time the skin may become thickened and leathery
Dyshidrotic Eczema

More common in women than in men, dyshidrotic eczema causes small blisters to form on the hands and feet.

Causes of dyshidrotic eczema include:

  • Frequently damp hands and feet
  • Stress
  • Allergies

Symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema include:

  • Fluid-filled blisters on the toes, soles of the feet, fingers, and palms of the hands
  • The blisters may be itchy or painful
  • The skin in these areas can flake or crack
Hand Eczema

As the name suggests, this eczema presents on the hands only and is common in people who work with chemicals on a daily basis such as hairdressers or those providing cleaning services.

Causes of hand eczema include:

  • Hairdressing services
  • Cleaning services
  • Laundry or dry-cleaning services
  • Healthcare services

Symptoms of hand eczema include:

  • The hands get itchy, dry, and red
  • Inflamed patches might crack or become blistery

This type of eczema is similar to atopic dermatitis and causes thick, scaly patches of inflamed skin to appear on the surface of the skin.

Causes of neurodermatitis:

This type of eczema usually appears in people who already have psoriasis or other types of eczema. Although it is unclear what causes neurodermatitis,

Symptoms of neurodermatitis include:

  • Thick, scaly patches which form on the legs, arms, back of the neck, soles of the feet, scalp, and back of the hands
  • Patches are usually extremely itchy
  • When scratched, patches can bleed and get infected
Traditional Treatment for Eczema vs. Natural Skincare Products for Eczema

The most common treatment for eczema prescribed by doctors includes oral and topical steroids (cortisone) as well as oral antihistamines (tablets to reduce the body’s response to allergens).

Although effective for flare ups, cortisone is known to suppress symptoms which often creates the illusion that the eczema is disappearing. In addition to this, cortisone creams can also mask infection, causing more risk for further damage to be done to the affected tissue.

It’s important to note that there isn’t one single cure for eczema as it’s often difficult to establish the exact cause. However, through a process of elimination, we can try and remove or at least minimize exposure to the triggers and irritants that cause flare ups.

Additionally, using natural skincare products to treat eczema provides a safe alternative which offers effective and long-term relief without the use of harmful chemicals and symptom suppressants.

Mojo Magic – Natural Eczema Treatment Cream

Mojo Magic skincare is made from safe, natural ingredients free from harmful chemicals which can often worsen the symptoms of eczema.

In our next article, we will take a look at the different ingredients in conventional creams used to treat eczema and compare them to the soothing, nourishing ingredients found in our products and how they offer relief.

To find out more about our natural skincare products, please feel free to contact us, or visit our online store to make your purchase.